Archive | January, 2012

Bánh Chưng and Happy Lunar New Year – 31 of 365

Chúc Mừng Năm Mới!  Happy New Year!  Tet ushers in the year of the dragon as well as the arrival of spring here in Vietnam.   Food is an integral part of the Tet lunar new year celebration and last year one such dish called bánh chưng proved a little bit on the exotic side for me.   I got […]

Đậu Hủ Dồn Thịt Sốt Cà Pork Stuffed Tofu – 30 of 365

Large blocks of tofu sitting in a dish of red liquid were the only edible looking choice in my latest takeaway visit to Café 91.  All I needed to do was email my friend Anthony a picture of my latest meal and within an hour I had its Vietnamese name, Đậu hủ dồn thịt sốt cà, along with a brief description of the ingredients.     […]

Lươn Nướng Grilled Eel – 29 of 365

I reluctantly discovered eel another lifetime ago while living in northern Germany, and the salty smoked taste of Baltic Sea “Aal” really does nothing for me.  In fact, I vividly remember spitting that fatty crap right into a napkin almost as if by reflex and thinking nie wieder, never again.  Then again, eel in German is also slang for […]

Cá Ngừ Kho Thơm Tuna – 28 of 365

Getting out on foot in my neighborhood is proving to be a fertile food source.   The narrow crowded streets jammed with beeping motorbikes, sidewalk vendors selling everything from cow stomach to knockoff Calvin Klein panties, sometimes side by side, and real people going about their real lives inspires me to dig a little deeper into Saigon. No […]

Lunch Lady on Wednesday – 27 of 365

Two German tourists I recently met had their appetites set on a food experience that is well known, tasty and memorable.  In a city as colorful and vibrant as Saigon, filling this trifecta should be easy enough.  The Lunch Lady perhaps?  I explained how each day of the week brings a different dish, and off […]

Bánh Xèo Vietnamese Pancakes – 26 of 365

Truon Son Street near the airport is so jam packed with narrow storefronts we can forgive someone for missing something.  No matter how many times I pass on by going to work, something new catches my eye.  My Vietnamese food guru, Anthony, suggested we head to a joint at 14 Truong Son where I could try some local […]

Bánh Mì The Anti-Subway – 25 of 365

During my visit to the US this past fall, the Atlanta paper ran an online thread soliciting reader recommendations for the best bánh mì, or Vietnamese sandwich, in town.  Most votes led people up and down Buford Highway which is the heart of the city’s ethnic cuisine scene.   Yes, I have sampled the sandwiches at a couple of […]

Ếch Xào Lăn “Mekong Chicken” – 24 of 365

My friend and coworker Zeke has yet to pick a food dud and his latest find is well off the mainstream food trail.  Right near Vincom Center at Hai Ba Trung and Ly Tu Trong Streets a place called Loan squats one such nondescript food shop.  This is one of those open walled corner joints complete with metal […]

Gỏi Cuốn Tasty Street Food Snacks – 23 of 365

The 68 story Bitexco Tower rises 861 feet above District 1.   So what does a gleaming new skyscraper complete with a Jetsons worthy heliport have to do with food?  Lots actually.  I was wandering around the base of the skyscraper and couldn’t help but notice what a clash of worlds the Bitexco is with the […]

Phở Gà Chicken Soup – 22 of 365

Gummichicken in all its gristly glory should have instilled in me a valuable food lesson…Do not order the chicken!!   Why couldn’t I remember this when I returned to Phở Bắc Hải Hà Nội where my friends Ryan and Melissa had introduced me to an honest bowl of great soup in our ‘hood?  This joint at 111 […]